It was like the universe reminded me and then, to make sure I got it, reminded me again.
One of the basic truths about comedy writing involves………timing. You achieve timing by getting a rhythm. It’s different when you’re live versus written and not being a stand-up, I’m a writing kind of guy. When I write a joke, I rely on a shared knowledge so that 75% of the time spent telling it, is not in the setup. If the setup takes too long, you can lose them.
This is why most of the lines you’ll see in my weekly “Wacky Week” email and on my website (www.wackyweek.com) are two or three sentences long.
But the other day I had not one, but two reminders that my world is not your world. Because no matter how much you may think people know what you know, it ain’t necessarily so.
For example, on the night following my most recent collection of Wacky jokes, which contained quite a few Miley Cyrus lines, one of my friends wrote back, “I guess I’m going to have to find out what who this Miley Cyrus person is.”
Then, the next morning, I found myself at Safeway. I was wearing my Seahawks jersey and the checker asked, “Oh, are they playing tonight?” On a Friday? Days just before the biggest game in their franchise history?
It wasn’t part of world. Much like Miley Cyrus wasn’t part of that friend’s world. (sounds like a wonderful place, doesn’t it?)
No, I’m not going to start writing all-inclusive jokes. “So, Miley Cyrus…you know, Billy Ray Cyrus–the guy who sang “Achy Breaky Heart” years ago and had a daughter who played Hannah Montana on the Disney channel during her tween years and now is trying to undo that image….walked into a bar…..”
I’ll write what I write. I hope you get the jokes. But if you don’t, it’s OK. My world is not necessarily your world.